What Database Teams Can Learn From Google Site Reliability Engineers

The mission critical Google platforms are maintained teams consisting of Google Site Reliability Engineers (SREs). SREs distinguish themselves from common system administrators by applying engineering and scientific methods for solving operational problems. Fundamentally, SRE is what you get when you treat operations as if it’s a software problem. In this blog post I distilled several key points that proved most relevant for my team which has the mission of designing and operating private database cloud for Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server databases. Operating on these principles over the last years not only has helped us achieve a high level of customer satisfaction with our service, but it also facilitated the creation of a very attractive working environment. Continue Reading

Tables Containing “Current” and “Historical” Rows

If your data model forsees storing “current” and “historical” rows in the same table, there is a chance that there will be queries doing self-joins drived by the “current” rows. This model can give rise to wrong join cardinality estimates applied on skewed data distributions. The more emphasized the skew is, the larger is the error. Table partitioning turns out to be a good solution in such cases. Continue Reading